Cracking the Ivory Tower, Abstract deadline: May 1

full name / name of organization: 
University of Pittsburgh
contact email: 

The editors seek abstracts for essays sharing advice, unique stories or sage wisdom for graduate students at all levels. We are seeking to increase transparency and a community of support for graduate students. We welcome abstracts addressing personal experiences from graduate students at every stage in their academic career (i.e. first year, post Comprehensive exams, ABD, etc.). All humanities fields are welcome.

Abstracts should be no more than 200 -300 words. Please also send a CV and university affiliation by May 1. Selected essays must be submitted by August 1. Essays should be written in a style appropriate for both academic and popular audiences. Essay length is no more than 7000 words. Please send all submissions to Kayla Paulk,

Topics should include but are not limited to:

Year 1:
-find potential mentors
-your path to finding your academic focus
-the Art of Academic Writing: How I learned to write well
-applying for grants
-The Balancing Act (how to juggle teaching, full course load and/ or real life)

Year 2: Comprehensive Exams/ Qualifying Exams
-surviving the Comprehensive/Qualifying Exams
-combating academic loneliness

Year 3: Dissertation Prospectus
-choosing the dissertation topic
-dissertation prospectus defense
-The Academic pipeline

Year 4: ABD and Networking
-the art of the conference presentation
-How to stand out on the job market

Year 5: Applying in the job market
-the art of the Cover letter
-how to create a teaching portfolio
-the MLA interview process: the good, the bad and the ugly

Beyond Year 5:
-The Life of the ABD grad student